[Advaita-l] adhikAra - veda - vedAnta, a query

Vinodh vinodh.iitm at gmail.com
Wed Oct 6 00:11:36 EDT 2021


Thank you for the pointer, Sri Subbuji. It indeed makes sense that the
qualification for sannyaasa is vairagya. Because sannyaasa is essentially
the renunciation of all karma (nivrutti marga or renunciation of all
activities) by exiting the pravrutti marga (indulgence in activities). The
pravrutti marga and the various dharma vidhis in it are meant for the
rightful pursuit of one's desires through appropriate activities (karma)
that are suited to one's characteristics in this birth. However, after
having attained the viveka (discernment) of the permanent and the ephemeral
that all pursuits of desires are ephermeral and that the only permanent
thing is the attainment of moksha through jnana, one attains true vairagya,
which is essentially a disinterest towards pursuit of all karma, including
the dharmic ones. Then, one is ready to really renounce all actions and
become a true sannyaasi. The praisha mantra that one utters when taking up
sannyaasa is essentially nothing more than a declaration that one is no
longer a threat to any other being because even for sustaining one's body
one will only use whatever comes in one's way and not actively go in
pursuit of it; this is why a sannyaasi lives on bhiksha alone. Based on
this understanding of sannyaasa truly means, it is not hard to see that the
only qualification for sannyaasa is vairagya born out of viveka.

Having said the above about the qualification for sannyaasa (or the
nivrutti marga), however, the qualifications for the various dharmas in the
pravrutti marga, like veda adhyaayana, etc., depend on the shaastras. A
traditional matam will never endorse a blanket deviation from the shaastras
on these matters for all. This is because these have been laid down for the
betterment of the individual and the society, by allowing them to pursue
dharma (a system of activities prescribed according to one's varna and
ashrama) through various karmaanushtanas, to attain artha (material
possessions) through these karmas, to satisfy their kamas (desires) through
these arthas, and to eventually come to a point where one sees the
ephemeral nature of satisfying these kamas and hence enter the nivrutti
marga. Any deviation, as already mentioned, may be allowed by one's Acharya
on a case-by-case basis for particular individuals, and this is purely out
of the compassion for the these individuals who are struggling to follow
their dharma given their current situation. This case-by-case advice on
matters pertaining to conduct by a learned Brahmana is also the meaning of
the Taittiriya Upanishad vakhya I had referred to earlier. However, a
blanket endorsement like anyone can do anything they want because now the
times are different is something a traditional matam will never support.
The only general advice that is consistently given by all traditional
matams is to follow the shaastras and act according to one's svadharma as
much as possible according to one's ability.

Om tat sat 🙏

On Wed, Oct 6, 2021 at 3:31 AM V Subrahmanian via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> Dear Raghav ji,
>
> I was just seeing a commentary, Ratnaprabha, on a certain Bhashya passage:
>
> ऊर्ध्वरेतःसु च शब्दे हि ॥ १७ ॥  3.4.17
> ऊर्ध्वरेतःसु च आश्रमेषु विद्या श्रूयते ; न च तत्र कर्माङ्गत्वं विद्याया
> उपपद्यते, कर्माभावात् ; न हि अग्निहोत्रादीनि वैदिकानि कर्माणि तेषां सन्ति ।
> स्यादेतत् , ऊर्ध्वरेतस आश्रमा न श्रूयन्ते वेद इति — तदपि नास्ति ; तेऽपि हि
> वैदिकेषु शब्देष्ववगम्यन्ते — ‘त्रयो धर्मस्कन्धाः’ (छा. उ. २ । २३ । १)
> <
> https://advaitasharada.sringeri.net/display/bhashya/Chandogya?page=2&id=Ch_C02_S23_V01&hl=%E0%A4%A4%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%AF%E0%A5%8B%20%E0%A4%A7%E0%A4%B0%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AE%E0%A4%B8%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%95%E0%A4%A8%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%A7%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%83
> >
>  ‘ये चेमेऽरण्ये श्रद्धा तप इत्युपासते’ (छा. उ. ५ । १० । १)
> <
> https://advaitasharada.sringeri.net/display/bhashya/Chandogya?page=5&id=Ch_C05_S10_V01&hl=%E0%A4%AF%E0%A5%87%20%E0%A4%9A%E0%A5%87%E0%A4%AE%E0%A5%87%E0%A4%BD%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%A3%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AF%E0%A5%87%20%E0%A4%B6%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%A6%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%A7%E0%A4%BE%20%E0%A4%A4%E0%A4%AA%20%E0%A4%87%E0%A4%A4%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AF%E0%A5%81%E0%A4%AA%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%B8%E0%A4%A4%E0%A5%87
> >
>  ‘तपःश्रद्धे ये ह्युपवसन्त्यरण्ये’ (मु. उ. १ । २ । ११)
> <
> https://advaitasharada.sringeri.net/display/bhashya/Mundaka?page=1&id=MD_C01_S02_V11&hl=%E0%A4%A4%E0%A4%AA%E0%A4%83%E0%A4%B6%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%A6%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%A7%E0%A5%87%20%E0%A4%AF%E0%A5%87%20%E0%A4%B9%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AF%E0%A5%81%E0%A4%AA%E0%A4%B5%E0%A4%B8%E0%A4%A8%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%A4%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AF%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%A3%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AF%E0%A5%87
> >
>  ‘एतमेव प्रव्राजिनो लोकमिच्छन्तः प्रव्रजन्ति’ (बृ. उ. ४ । ४ । २२)
> <
> https://advaitasharada.sringeri.net/display/bhashya/Brha?page=4&id=BR_C04_S04_V22&hl=%E0%A4%8F%E0%A4%A4%E0%A4%AE%E0%A5%87%E0%A4%B5%20%E0%A4%AA%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%B5%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%9C%E0%A4%BF%E0%A4%A8%E0%A5%8B%20%E0%A4%B2%E0%A5%8B%E0%A4%95%E0%A4%AE%E0%A4%BF%E0%A4%9A%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%9B%E0%A4%A8%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%A4%E0%A4%83%20%E0%A4%AA%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%B5%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%9C%E0%A4%A8%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%A4%E0%A4%BF
> >
>  ‘ब्रह्मचर्यादेव प्रव्रजेत्’ (जा. उ. ४)
> <
> https://advaitasharada.sringeri.net/display/bhashya/jbl?page=NaN&id=JB_V04&hl=%E0%A4%AC%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%B9%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AE%E0%A4%9A%E0%A4%B0%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%AF%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%A6%E0%A5%87%E0%A4%B5%20%E0%A4%AA%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%B5%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%B0%E0%A4%9C%E0%A5%87%E0%A4%A4%E0%A5%8D
> >
>  इत्येवमादिषु । प्रतिपन्नाप्रतिपन्नगार्हस्थ्यानाम् अपाकृतानपाकृतर्णत्रयाणां
> च ऊर्ध्वरेतस्त्वं श्रुतिस्मृतिप्रसिद्धम् । तस्मादपि स्वातन्त्र्यं
> विद्यायाः ॥
> १७ ॥
>  व्याख्या
> <
> https://advaitasharada.sringeri.net/display/splitWindow/BS/RP/BS_C03_S04_V17_B1
> >
>
>
>
> Ratnaprabha:
>
> किञ्च कर्मतत्त्वज्ञाने नाङ्गाङ्गिभूते
> भिन्नाधिकारिस्थत्वाद्राजसूयबृहस्पतिसववदित्याह -
>
> ऊर्ध्वेति ।
>
> त्रयो धर्मस्कन्धाः कर्मप्रधाना आश्रमाश्चतुर्थो ब्रह्मसंस्थ इत्यर्थः ।
>
> 'ब्रह्मचर्येण ऋषिभ्यो यज्ञेन देवेभ्यः प्रजया पितृभ्य एव वा अनृणः' इति
> श्रुतेः । 'ऋणानि त्रीण्यपाकृत्य मनो मोक्षे निवेशयेत् । अनपाकृत्य मोक्षं तु
> सेवमानो व्रजत्यधः' इति स्मृतेश्च प्राप्तगार्हस्थ्यस्यैव निरस्तर्णत्रयस्य
> पारिव्राज्यमित्यपि शङ्का न कार्या । ब्रह्मचर्यादेव प्रव्रजेदिति
> द्वितीयमाश्रममिच्छेत्तमावसेदिति च विधिश्रुतिस्मृतिविरोधेन
> अर्थवादश्रुतिस्मृत्योरविरक्तविषयत्वागमादित्याह -
>
> प्रतिपन्नेति ।
>
> तस्मादि ति संन्यासनिष्ठत्वादित्यर्थः ॥१७॥
>
>
> Who is fit for sannyasa?  There are shruti/smriti passages that prescribe
> the 'fulfillment of the three debts' as the qualification.  The Ratnaprabha
> clarifies that these are for those who have not the required vairagya.
> Thus, the criterion for sannyasa is: the one who has genuine vairagya.
>
> This could be seen as as the guiding factor in matters such as the ones we
> are discussing now.  In fact the earlier Jagadguru of the Sringeri peetham
> has said that women who want to remain single (for spiritual reasons) can
> choose to do so provided the conditions such as safety, etc. are in place.
>
> The Sringeri Mutt has put the entire Bhashya corpus along with commentaries
> and glosses and a whole lot of other related works on the Advaitasharada
> site which anyone can access.  The Mutt has been published and blessing
> several books in various languages, many of which are directly or otherwise
> connected with the upanishads/bhashyas.
>
> regards
> subbu
>
>
> On Tue, Oct 5, 2021 at 8:46 PM Raghav Kumar Dwivedula via Advaita-l <
> advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
>
> > Namaste Subbuji
> > That's an excellent point. Your verse cited cannot be faulted on the
> > technicality that the word 'bhixukI' is mentioned rather than sannyAsI.
> The
> > point remains valid that outer renunciation I e., nivRtti mArga for women
> > was not an innovation.
> >
> > I remember reading somewhere in the manu smriti that a vaidika should
> never
> > dwell for long in any kingdom ruled by mlecchas/veda-bAhyas or he will
> > loose all his brAhmaNatvaM in 12 years of such residence. If take this at
> > face value, most of India was ruled by mlecchas for a thousand years
> which
> > is eighty times twelve. So the "niShedha" has anyway been hopelessly
> > violated eighty times over. In which case we have to honestly accept that
> > there are not many Brahmanas left anywhere - many who claim to be
> brahmaNas
> > have willy nilly violated smriti niShedhas in this respect. (Or their
> > pUrvajas have) - if we choose to be so literalist in blindly applying
> > smRtis written for pre-Islamic India, to today's World.
> >
> >  Such is the danger of a stratified interpretation of smRti by living in
> a
> > la la land of pre-Islamic India of the 'golden age' of the Guptas of
> c.400
> > CE.  What many hyper-orthodox modern interpreters of these ( pre-Islamic
> )
> > smritis seem to be blissfully unaware of is that the smritis were
> > *composed* by shiShTas of specific pre-Islamic times. Smritis are not
> > apauruSheya.  They do not factor in such catastrophically disruptive
> social
> > events like the Islamic invasions and British conquest (bhAratavarsha was
> > under mleccha rule for 1000 years) and therefore it's valid to not take
> > ideas such as loss of dvijatvaM for all those who have migrated to the
> west
> > etc., literally. Same goes for wholesale rejection of recent Ramakrishna
> > Mission, Arsha Vidya traditions, Chinmaya mission sannyAsa as outright
> > deviations from smRti.
> >
> > Another point is that, labelling the teaching ( by Acharyas of RK
> Mission,
> > Arsha Vidya or even members of this forum for example) of vedAnta using
> > upaniShad verses (and prakaraNa granthas like Vivekachudamani) on an open
> > forum like you tube etc., is wrong because it's a deviation from smRti,
> > because non-dvijas and women can access the resources, is quite silly,
> for
> > the same reason  (literalism).
> >
> > It may be difficult to draw the line clearly. And the word "reform" is
> not
> > necessary. If shiShTas of today adopt a certain stance or interpretation
> in
> > matters of smRiti, that can be accepted as valid.
> >
> >  Thus it is quite a nuanced and noteworthy stance adopted by Sringeri
> etc.,
> > of felicitating (I e., honoring) these recent Acharyas who have taught
> > Vedanta on open fora. This  indicates the understated but clear shiShTa
> > position on such matters such as sharing Shruti based vedAnta teachings
> on
> > open fora (for example.)
> >
> > Om
> >
> > On Tue, 5 Oct, 2021, 1:06 pm V Subrahmanian via Advaita-l, <
> > advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:
> >
> > > In the Jivan Mukti Viveka (First chapter), Swami Vidyaranya has said
> that
> > > sannyasa for women is permitted. The 'praisha' mantra they have to
> utter
> > is
> > > to be in their native language.  The Mahabharata talks of a sannyasini
> by
> > > name Sulabha whom Shankara has cited in the Brahmasutra bhashya:
> > >
> > > अथ धर्मयुगे तस्मिन् यॊगधर्ममनुष्ठिता महीमनुचचारैका सुलभा नाम भिक्षुकी 8
> > > https://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/mbs/mbs12308.htm
> > >
> > > regards
> > > subbu
> > >
> > >
> > > > <listmaster at advaita-vedanta.org>
> > > >
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